Pioli: ‘The first penalty shouldn’t have been given’


Stefano Pioli was unhappy with the refereeing in Milan’s 2-1 defeat to Atalanta: ” The first penalty wasn’t there.” The defeat saw the Rossoneri eliminated from the Coppa Italia, despite dominating possession, and speaking in the post-match, Pioli explained his unhappiness with  VAR and the decisions of the referee during the game:

What happened after taking the lead?

“We played a very good first half and then we made a big mistake. In the second half we struggled, but the game changed due to the penalty that wasn’t there. We struggled to find the positions that favoured us in the first half.”

What about the penalty appeal right at the end?

“It’s difficult, there are a lot of discussions about VAR… Looking at it like this, it seems strange to me that the referee wasn’t called back to see it. The first penalty wasn’t there and it changes the game. The ball is touched first by our player, the Atalanta player also dives before the contact…”

Where could more have been done?

“We could have reacted better. I understand the players’ frustration, but there could have been more clarity. There was plenty of time to fix it. We were unable to get going again in a match that was difficult and balanced. It was played well in the first half and not so well in the second half.”

How do you judge Jovic’s performance?

“He did less well but I think that’s not exclusively his responsibility. He is a player who is good at playing the ball and then opening it up, we had to stay a little lower with the wingers and open up space for the attackers. We didn’t succeed and we were penalised for it.”

Finally, that penalty for Atalanta…

“I didn’t need to see it again, it was on the right trajectory. I saw that the ball had been deflected and Miranchuk had already jumped. An episode that changed the direction of a balanced match.”


Serie A obsessive.